Geo-blocking in crypto gambling


Geo-blocking is when sites stop users with IP addresses from certain nations from using their site. This is done due to gambling laws, or more accurately, due to the credible threat of legal action against a site by the authorities of some nations.

It is equally illegal to offer online gambling without a local license in Australia and Canada. If the site is located in Australia it might obey the Australian laws and geo-block users in Australian because there is a credible threat of legal action by Australian authorities.

However the site will ignore the equivalent Canadian laws and allow users in Canada because there is no credible threat of legal action by Canadian authorities.

The US Department of Justice and the FBI have shown that wherever a site is located there is a credible threat of US authorities taking action against it. That’s why some sites operating outside the US geo-block users in the US.

Geo-blocking hurts users and operators

Geo-blocking has been common in government currency online gambling for a long time but in the early years of crypto gambling it was happily absent. Crypto allowed consenting adults anywhere to use sites without being discriminated against or needing permission from their rulers, just like it should be!

However by 2017 most of the top crypto gambling sites used geo-blocking as detailed in the table below, and this is bound to continue.

The best and most reputable sites can still make good money while geo-blocking high risk markets like the US. That makes these markets artificially less competitive because it leaves only lower quality and less reputable sites for US users to choose from. Laws that pretend to protect consumers in fact put them in more danger than they would be without those laws.

Who wants this and why?

When different laws are applied to different people on the internet, where we should be equal, the system of segregation that is nation states comes into sharp focus. Sites don’t want to turn away users but offering online gambling in high risk jurisdictions would put their business, finances and freedom at risk.

We have geo-blocking because we have gambling laws. These laws are made to protect government monopolies and government licensed operators who provide revenue to the government, that is who wants these laws in place.

The other group of people who want these laws in place are those that believe gambling is immoral and that the government should use violence in order to stop people from doing things that they consider immoral. When presented by its advocates this stance uses the language of consumer protection.

The current situation

The below table shows the current state of geo-blocking in the crypto gambling industry. Sadly 86% of operators geo-block users.

The biggest losers are the British who miss out on 79% of services. This is thanks to the point of consumption tax.

Americans are next worse off missing out on 43% of crypto’s best gambling sites thanks to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Sites located in Europe are more likely to geo-block than sites located outside of Europe.

The best way to get around geo-blocking is with a crypto accepting VPN. Legal authorities have never gone after individual online gamblers. They only ever go after the site operators and even make sure the busted sites pay out their users balances. As such you can feel legally comfortable crypto gambling from anywhere.

How BitEdge deals with this

We only show you sites that will allow you to bet with them. If a site geoblocks the country you are in we do not show you information about that site. There are exceptions to this and in such cases we state that users from your country should use a VPN.

Site Location/licence* Geo-blocks
1xbit Russia
BetBTC Germany
BitCasino Curacao
Bitstarz Curacao
Cloudbet Montenegro
Fairlay Germany
FortuneJack Georgia
mBit Curacao
Nitrogen Costa Rica
Primedice Australia
Sportsbet Curacao
VegasCasino Costa Rica
Betcoin Costa Rica
SWC Poker Hungary

*Some sites list their licensing jurisdiction or a trustworthy country as their location, even if they are not located there.

1 comment

  1. Claire

    Asked mBit, they do not allow UK players, even if using bitcoin. Though don’t know if they have any software to determine a users geo-location.

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